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Senior Advisor

The split between corn for grain and corn for forage?

Historically, the split between corn acres planted for grain and corn planted for forage has been very consistently close to 92% corn for grain. 

  But this year there's a lot of late planted corn, according to the Crop Progress reports, 25% of the crop was planted after June 2.  I suspect that a good deal of that late planted corn was planted with idea that if it doesn't make corn it can still be harvested as forage.  Historically dairy farmers have harvested as much of their corn as needed for forage and combined the remainder for grain.  Some dry years it all gets harvested for silage and then some of the neighbor's grain crop as well.  

  Whatever the final planted acres comes out,  depending on the remainder of the growing season, actually grain corn production might be considerably lower than that estimated using the 92% factor in our calculations. 

And then there are all sorts of follow-on implications as well.  Feeding more forage slows down beef rate of gain, carcass finish and even final slaughter weights.  Our first indications of this might come as soon as late August if someone is tracking silage harvest.


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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: The split between corn for grain and corn for forage?

On the "other hand" on the other site they are saying that the eastern belt has a longer growing season, planting 114 day corn on June 5th and such.   The eastern belt is where the bulk of delays occurred, well they might not pull off a cocky 280 bushel yield, but maybe a cocky "much better than expected!!".  The easterners don`t know their potential, because they`ve never had to plant late and are usually in the "we could sure use a rain" crowd.   But yes, if you`re in Ohio and the planter hasn`t moved, that`s a different deal too.

However, if you want to see nice crops, on highway 3, north of Waterloo, that corn is dark green uniform and basically covering 30" rows.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: The split between corn for grain and corn for forage?

I agree.

For instance, MI didn't plant 21% of its intended corn between 6/10-17. We all know the limitations of the reporting system and very well could be that reporters were behind at 63% on the 10th, but probably not by 10-15%. The 5, maybe 8 percent that managed to get planted was probably almost exclusively for silage.

As you say, that may not shake out in the numbers until well into the fall.

I'm going with a .90 factor to get to 8 million fewer harvested for grain- probably closer to 10 but you have to assume that there's a couple mil already baked into the original 93 number- drives folks crazy when we have a year without much PP and USDA "finds" a couple mil more in the June report.

I took that by 165- hardly a catastrophe- and get something like a 12.8 crop. Even there, the shrinking demand story can play for quite a while and we will get told that stocks are adequate. '93 and '95 come to mind where the market did a great job of burning through the old crop before deciding there was a problem. Better have some patience and staying power.

Or, we might have a further problem here or elsewhere.

I don't rate the odds that the crop gets a lot bigger than the scenario that I described as high but it would be foolish to be certain it can't happen- or to appear to be happening for longer than you can remain solvent.

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